2018 ESSENCE Festival host Roy Wood, Jr. has over 20 years in the comedy and entertainment industry under his belt, so of course, he had plenty of gems to drop while in Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest comedy festival.
As a current correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and an active social media user, Wood has his finger firmly on the pulse of today’s pop culture atmosphere. Speaking with The Daily Beast just ahead of his SXSW comedy festival set, he acknowledged the unique space comedians occupy in today’s often politically-charged America
“If I make a joke you don’t like, I’m OK with that,” Wood said. “People have a right to be offended. Comedians are being unrealistic if they think someone can’t be offended. You as a comedian can then decide to not give a sh*t if they are offended.”
Like other seasoned comedians who have seen continued success in the current climate by embracing the ever-changing tides of the industry, Wood also shared that his only regret is not doing so sooner.
“I should have taken the Internet more seriously,” he says, reflecting back on his earlier days. “One of my biggest regrets in my career was ignoring the changing tides and listening to bitter, older road comics who dismissed change.”
If you missed Roy making his debut as host of the ESSENCE Festival superdome stage last year, be sure to grab your tickets to see him back in action this year at the 2018 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans this July.